We all know and love the Arduino Uno with its ATmega328P microcontroller, and when you need a ‘bit’ more capability, you can turn to the Arduino Mega with its 54 digital I/O and 16 analog inputs. As great as it is, its 101.52 x 53.3mm footprint can be unwieldy in some situations. As a smaller alternative, Flavio DaBrescia has come up with an 38 x 38mm ATmega2560 breakout board called the HeroCore.
The HeroCore is equipped with nearly the same number of digital I/O pins (50 vs. 54), and has 16 analog inputs, each set up to either accept 0–5V (8), 0–50V (4), or 4–20mA (4 ). User LEDs include an impressive 16 blue, one white, one green, and one red, allowing for instant output feedback, or different colors can be triggered depending on what the chip is doing. The board also has a user button for your instant interfacing needs, and eight toggle switches are available on the bottom as well, potentially useful for various board functionalities.
The HeroCore has several other interesting features, like a convenient pin arrangement for common accessories, and an expanded current supply capacity. DaBrescia is now funding the board on Kickstarter, with an expected delivery slated for this September. A single unit and programming cable is available at a pledge level of ~$21 USD, but if you want to go all in on this innovative design you can have 500 — yes, 500 — of them delivered for just over $7800 USD. If need even more, presumably you’ll want to get in touch with DaBrescia directly!